Enemies of the United States might want to cool their jets now that the Navy is poised to roll out some serious sci-fi weaponry. New details are starting to surface about the EM Railgun, a powerful electromagnetic firearm that can propel its payload at six times the speed of sound, over twice as fast as the average sniper bullet.
Unlike weaponry that relies on controlled explosives to function, the warship-mounted EM Railgun uses electrical energy generated by the ship to create an electromagnetic force that launches projectiles at Mach 6 – roughly 4,600 mph – which is enough to penetrate concrete from over 100 miles away.
According to the Office of Naval Research (ONR), this cutting-edge technology would allow Navy ships to carry out a variety of missions ranging from ship-to-ship combat and land strikes to air defense, cutting down on the amount of different designs needed to keep the U.S.’s shores safe.
The project was initiated in 2005 and reached phase II in 2012, which is geared toward ensuring that the railgun can fire at high speeds for a sustained period of time without running into any problems with the pulsed power system.
“The railgun is a true warfighter game changer. Wide-area coverage, exceptionally quick response and very deep magazines will extend the reach and lethality of ships armed with this technology,” the ONR boasts.